Matt Moore followed up his solid 2016 Giants debut by posting the highest ERA (5.52) of any qualified starter in 2017. Widely considered baseball's top prospect earlier this decade, the enigmatic southpaw has improved his control but, despite a decent 8.2 career K/9, struggles to work confidently around the plate. He lost 1.4 mph off his four-seam fastball last year, showed faulty mechanics and leaned too heavily on an ineffective cutter. Left-handers peppered the southpaw to a .438 wOBA and an 18.6 HR/FB. Despite these setbacks, he may only need tweaks to his delivery to rediscover his old promise, and as a penny stock, he still has a chance to rebound. The 28-year-old would have been a better dice roll had he remained in the National League and pitcher-friendly AT&T Park and not been dealt to the Rangers and hitter-leaning Globe Life Park in December.
Moore is dealing with some soreness behind his right knee, Evan Grant of The Dallas Morning News reports. The issue kept Moore from participating in fielding practice Saturday, though it doesn't sound like anything overly serious given it didn't affect his ability to throw a bullpen. Moore was also able to do some light jogging on the side. That said, it's unclear if the issue will keep him sidelined for any Cactus League action.
The Giants traded Moore to the Rangers on Friday, John Shea of the San Francisco Chronicle reports. The Giants are expected to receive low-level prospects in return for the Rangers taking on the left-hander's full remaining contract. The deal will be finalized pending physicals for all players involved. Moore finished the 2017 season with a 6-15 record to go along with a 5.52 ERA. It remains to be seen how the Rangers plan on using the southpaw, but he figures to compete for a rotation spot next spring.
Moore's team option was exercised by the Giants on Monday, Andrew Baggarly of The San Jose Mercury News reports. After a strong finish to the 2016 season, hopes were high that Moore would be able to improve in 2017 and capitalize on having a full year to throw in the pitcher-friendly AT&T Park. However, rather than take a step forward, Moore regressed and posted a 5.52 ERA and 1.53 WHIP over 32 games. He'll have a chance to rebound in the upcoming season, but could run the risk of being used as an extended reliever should his struggles persist.
Moore (6-15) took the loss Tuesday against the Diamondbacks, coughing up eight runs (seven earned) on five hits and three walks over only 1.1 innings. He'll be grateful not to have to face J.D. Martinez again this year, after the slugger ripped a two-run double off Moore in the first inning and then followed it up with a grand slam in the second that chased him from the game. The lefty wraps up a disappointing campaign that mirrors the Giants' season as a whole, posting a 5.52 ERA, 1.53 WHIP and 148:67 K:BB through 174.1 innings while setting a new career high in losses.
Moore (6-14) shut the Rockies out for six innings Wednesday, taking home a 4-0 win. He struck out six while allowing six hits and two walks. The lefty's three prior starts against Colorado this season -- two of which came at Coors Field -- had resulted in him giving up an incredible 19 runs and 30 hits over the course of just 12.2 innings, so this was quite the reversal of fortune. Being safely home in the friendly confines of AT&T Park might have factored in, though that didn't help him against the Dodgers his last time out. There's a lot of noise in Moore's game log and stat line, some of it seemingly positive, but the fact is that he's carrying a 5.20 ERA and 1.50 WHIP while playing for a brutal Giants team, so it's hard to trust him -- especially with a start in hitter-friendly Arizona coming up next.